What is Astronomy?
Objectives: Students will be able to:Define astronomy as the science that involves space and all the bodies in it.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Prehistoric cultures left behind astronomical artifacts such as the Egyptian monuments and Stonehenge, and early civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. However, the invention of the telescope was required before astronomy was able to develop into a modern science. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, and even astrology, but professional astronomy is nowadays often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.
During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of celestial objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented towards the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the observational results, and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.
Amateur astronomers have contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, and astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena.
Ancient astronomy is not to be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin and a part of their methods (namely, the use of ephemerides), they are distinct.
Use of terms “astronomy” and “astrophysics”
Generally, either the term “astronomy” or “astrophysics” may be used to refer to this subject. Based on strict dictionary definitions, “astronomy” refers to “the study of objects and matter outside the Earth’s atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties” and “astrophysics” refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with “the behavior, physical properties, and dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena”. In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, “astronomy” may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas “astrophysics” is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject. However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could actually be called astrophysics. Various departments that research this subject may use “astronomy” and “astrophysics”, partly depending on whether the department is historically affiliated with a physics department, and many professional astronomers actually have physics degrees. One of the leading scientific journals in the field is named Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Read more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy
Video Clip about astronomy
The Text book and Slide show about astronomy.
The resource website about astronomy.
Assignment For students.
1. After you study this lesson. Please do the test in website http://www.thatquiz.org/tq/practicetest?XNNO4219
2. Please Click here Historical Development of Astronomy practice worksheet to download the worksheet for practice.
3. Please write you opinion about the important of astronomy in daily life.
( Don’t forget to write your name class and number)